In 1849, workers building the railroad in Charlotte found the skeleton of a whale! Charlotte is far from the ocean today. But 12,500 years ago, Charlotte was under water. The Champlain Sea spread across Vermont after the glaciers moved north. This whale died over 10,000 years ago. Its bones stayed buried in the ground for many years. The skeleton is now at the Perkins Geology Museum at the University of Vermont. In 1993, the white whale became Vermont’s state fossil.
Thinking about History
The whale fossil is evidence of how Vermont's land has changed over the past 12,500 years. What are other examples of how Vermont's landscape has changed?
|Charlotte, the Vermont Whale (outside link)|
|Beneath the Surface (PDF)|
|Landscape Change Program (outside link)|